On October 22nd BroadSoft announced Xtended Connect with its partner Intelepeer www.intelePeer.com . Xtended connect is in practice a federation which its customers can join to share traffic both HD Voice and Video, without having to use a wholesale partner.
So for example if a Broadsoft Service Provider customer in the UK (Provider A) and a Broadsoft Service Provider customer in India (Provider B) joined the federation, any voice or video traffic which was going between an end customer on Provider A and an end customer on Provider Bs network could pass for free, and therefore avoid traditional whole providers networks. Also because both service providers are utilising the Broadsoft platform they could pass the traffic as HD Voice or Video as they utilise the same applications. In order to make this work they have chosen to partner with Intelepeer who will provide the points of presence and the registry capability which will identify if traffic is On-net between Broadsoft federation customers.
This is not the first federation we have seen but is significant that a major vendor should embark on such a strategy. Xconnect (www.xconnect.net) who are one of the other pioneers in this market, have been empowering federations between VoIP and other players for a number of years and recently announced a NGN exchange with DE-CIX in Germany. Indeed Xconnect have demonstrated very strong growth offering these services both on a national and international basis.
What’s interesting is in their announcement Broadsoft highlighted the service benefits that customers will receive, rather than any financial benefit.
“Today, service providers are primarily limited to supporting high-definition calls for customers within their own network, which means that the vision of a superior communication experience has yet to be realized,” said Michael Tessler, president and CEO, BroadSoft. “When every BroadSoft service provider customer leverages Xtended Connect, BroadSoft powered users in more than 70 countries will experience high-definition voice and video calling, creating a truly high-definition network.”
For a global or national federation to work there must be enough On-net traffic to demonstrate real value. Broadsoft do have a significant global market presence which could drive enough global and local traffic. At launch however the pops are limited to the US and 1 in the UK, in the coming months Intelepeer will extend that reach and only then will we really see if this has a significant global impact. The commercial model for such services will develop other the coming months; however it appears that a provider will have to commit to take other services from Intelepeer, in order to benefit from the free On-net federation services.
We would also expect this to encourage global teaming between Broadsoft customer. For instance if a partner in the UK had a multinational customer with site requirements in India, he may work with a Broadsoft federation provider in India to provide that site. Then he will be able to offer his customer a HD Video and Voice experience.
I don’t think this announcement will make wholesale players, loose sleep yet. However it is a clear demonstration how the future requirements for delivery of Voice/Video and other UC services elements, maybe a key driver of what the future wholesale offering may need to be. Also we may start to see closer teaming between vendors and service providers in these market spaces and the delivery of applications becomes more and more important.
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